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12 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

I'm all for equipping a recce platform with the means to launch small drones for aerial surveillance. They can, however, gather intelligence only for as long as their batteries last (minutes, rather than days or weeks), and only in a medium to low threat airspace. A modern recce platform should also be able to plant ground sensors for automatic data collection, with seismic and sound sensors, motion-detecting cameras, and the ability to transmit such data in burst transmissions, possibly by laser-to-satellite.

You will always need a vehicle to carry all this shit, and you need a vehicle because you don't know where you will need to observe. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle itself must be the primary observation platform. I'm also not convinced that it absolutely has to be a tracked platform, as much as I generally prefer tracked over wheeled.

Imagine this on the back of a Boxer, and imagine the pigeons are drones.

ZPER-34_147-f425_1915-Pigeon-Bus.jpg

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The history of Qinetiq (sic) starts with the Defence Research Agency (DRA), thence to the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and then a split into Qinetiq (sold off) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), which was retained, although as far as I can see Qinetiq got all the facilities and DSTL then rented them back, a move which gains money one year and then pays for that short-term gain forevermore.

FVRDE, then called MVEE, was merged with RARDE in the 1980s, which was in turn merged with several other institutions to form DRA.

(The latter bit is from the Wikipedia entry on Fort Halstead.)

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Qinetiq was largely responsible for the closure of Chertsey though. Supposedly they were gifted half the facilities by the Mod, they promptly flogged it off for development, and left the other occupants of the site without the facilities to operate.

Not that Chertsey necessarily would have made a difference in this case, but it does point to a running down of this kind of infrastructure across the country. There seems to be no intermediate bureaucracy between the MOD and the manufacturer now. Or at least, none that are seemingly up to the job.

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On 12/18/2021 at 8:30 AM, rohala said:

Isn't it a bit older than that or are you referring to specific vehicles?

I was referring to production vehicles, which entered service in 1988 with 1st Bn Grenadier Guards.  I think prototypes were used on Exercise LIONHEART in 1984.

Best,

Greg.

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On 12/19/2021 at 10:33 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Qinetiq was largely responsible for the closure of Chertsey though. Supposedly they were gifted half the facilities by the Mod, they promptly flogged it off for development, and left the other occupants of the site without the facilities to operate.

Not that Chertsey necessarily would have made a difference in this case, but it does point to a running down of this kind of infrastructure across the country. There seems to be no intermediate bureaucracy between the MOD and the manufacturer now. Or at least, none that are seemingly up to the job.

This is the point.  It's not that Chertsey closed, it's the fact that the people had very little to do for so long that there has been skill fade.  Given the lack of export potential in AFVs (plenty of reasonable used kit around), a sensible government (fat chance!) would have placed an order for something to keep facilities and people going.  Perhaps a FV432 replacement?!

Best,

Greg.

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Yes, the MOD has apparently recognised they need to buy more often to keep companies going. About 2 decades after it might have made a difference.  

In other countries people would go to prison, or worse, for the incompetence in defence management going back to the end of the cold war. Here they get a Knighthood. I bet Kim doesn't have this problem.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Yes, the MOD has apparently recognised they need to buy more often to keep companies going. About 2 decades after it might have made a difference.  

I'm other countries people would go to prison, or worse, for the incompetence in defence management going back to the end of the cold war. Here they get a Knighthood. I bet Kim doesn't have this problem.

In other countries they get promotions and medals too.  Unfortunately, you guys aren't special that way.

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On 12/19/2021 at 2:31 AM, rohala said:

Interesting points. How can a mechanized unit operate for three weeks behind enemy lines? Would the Luchs carry so much fuel?

I doubt a mechanized unit could operate behind enemy lines against a peer/near peer army these days without being spotted early on.

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5 hours ago, Colin said:

I doubt a mechanized unit could operate behind enemy lines against a peer/near peer army these days without being spotted early on.

It happened in Donbas. A Ukrainian Mechanised Airborne Brigade (I still struggle to get my head around that) operated behind enemy lines for some weeks in 2014. OTOH, that was before the Russians got heavily involved. With Drones and long range fires, the chances of pulling it off have to be limited.

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On 12/19/2021 at 4:47 PM, Ssnake said:

I'm all for equipping a recce platform with the means to launch small drones for aerial surveillance. They can, however, gather intelligence only for as long as their batteries last (minutes, rather than days or weeks), and only in a medium to low threat airspace. A modern recce platform should also be able to plant ground sensors for automatic data collection, with seismic and sound sensors, motion-detecting cameras, and the ability to transmit such data in burst transmissions, possibly by laser-to-satellite.

You will always need a vehicle to carry all this shit, and you need a vehicle because you don't know where you will need to observe. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle itself must be the primary observation platform. I'm also not convinced that it absolutely has to be a tracked platform, as much as I generally prefer tracked over wheeled.

That very much fits the Fennek.

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  • 2 months later...

Speaking from experience, safety-related Limitations of Usage are usually dependent on test and or trials data being signed off as compliant (or with only non-safety related exceptions). They're necessary to validate theoretical (i.e. design) performance assessments.

Not operating the vehicle when it is closed up means that they haven't fully qualified the CBRN/AC fit. As you might expect the CBRN specification requires that the closed-up box is, to a first approximation, airtight. There's a lot to the CBRN system, and I did take part in some of the hazard analysis associated with it, but I'm several years stale and besides I expect it's mostly classified.

if you like, you could work out how long it takes for CO2 buildup in a sealed container with 6 or more people in it to transition from "living and breathing" to "unconscious" and then "dead", with "not able to concentrate on primary tasks" somewhere between the first two.

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I am guessing they plan on refitting a bunch of the Warriors to be on the safe side.

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Yes, due to the decreasing availabity (and value I would guess) of scimitar, Warrior is to take over the recce role until/if they get Ajax unscrewed. No, im not kidding. And to think, we could have had a recce version of Warrior over 20 years ago, a very good one too.

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On 3/12/2022 at 3:43 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Yes, due to the decreasing availabity (and value I would guess) of scimitar, Warrior is to take over the recce role until/if they get Ajax unscrewed. No, im not kidding. And to think, we could have had a recce version of Warrior over 20 years ago, a very good one too.

There already was it was a recce variant the artillery observation variant (FV514) and it was more than 20 years ago thanks for making me feel old I remember seeing them at BATUS that long ago, as quoted by Wikipedia.

FV514 Mechanised Artillery Observation Vehicle. This is operated by the Royal Artillery as an Artillery Observation Post Vehicle (OPV) and is fitted with mast-mounted Man-packable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (MSTAR) and Position and Azimuth Determining System (PADS), with image intensifying and infra-red equipment. The only armament is the 7.62 mm machine gun, as the 30 mm RARDEN cannon is replaced by a dummy weapon. This allows space for the targeting and surveillance equipment while still keeping largely the same outward appearance of a standard Warrior in order to avoid becoming a priority target. 52 of these were produced.

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Anyone who has ever dealt with DE&S, and the several organisations that preceded it would have hard time pointing at a single person who could be held responsible for a programme's failings, and it would be only marginally easier to point the finger at a particular job title.

For most projects, and in no particular order, the following tend to be contributors to cost over-runs, delays and shortfalls in performance.

1. The customer neither knows not what they want, nor how to describe it (piss-poor customer requirements)

2. The customer staff responsible for a complex (and therefore, generally speaking, long) programme are rarely in role for long enough to see more than a part of it.

3. The government pay for project management roles is piss poor, and you have to live either in/near Bristol, Andover (for the Army), or near the manufacturer (for some programmes), none of which are located where people want to live.

4. The receiving military arm can't put staff onto a programme for long enough to understand how they work as most want to rotate out of the shitty MoD desk job or their careers are toast (you'll never get a good job by being a staff position on a successful project, but the MoD civilian staff can fuck your career over by failing a project that you're assigned to.). It is typical for the military staff to just understand enough about his part in the process for him to be somewhat coherent in the hand-over briefing. 

5. because the pay is rubbish at MoD, they cannot retain Suitably Qualified and Experienced personnel to properly man technical roles. They sub-contract a lot, which bloats internal costs, causes programmes to stretch as contactors either drag their heels to keep the money tap open, or move on when something more interesting comes along, taking their accumulated knowledge with them.

6. Even with contractors, project management teams are always short staffed. Even if the staff they have are competent, that simply means they're worked until they break just falling behind the curve more slowly.

7. Suppliers, even with the best intent in the world (which they often don't have), need to be managed to keep them on the rails. if you aren't pushing them to meet contractual deadlines, they won't meet them. If you don't read and add value with comments to paperwork deliverables, you'll not get what you want or need. this isn't malice, usually it's a consequence of misinterpretation (see point 1).

and on, and on.

Edited by DB
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2 hours ago, Wobbly Head said:

There already was it was a recce variant the artillery observation variant (FV514) and it was more than 20 years ago thanks for making me feel old I remember seeing them at BATUS that long ago, as quoted by Wikipedia.

FV514 Mechanised Artillery Observation Vehicle. This is operated by the Royal Artillery as an Artillery Observation Post Vehicle (OPV) and is fitted with mast-mounted Man-packable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (MSTAR) and Position and Azimuth Determining System (PADS), with image intensifying and infra-red equipment. The only armament is the 7.62 mm machine gun, as the 30 mm RARDEN cannon is replaced by a dummy weapon. This allows space for the targeting and surveillance equipment while still keeping largely the same outward appearance of a standard Warrior in order to avoid becoming a priority target. 52 of these were produced.

That was just a Forward observers vehicle, not really a recc e vehicle. I think it performed the same role as the gist vehicle in the US Army.

What about Verdi 2?

 

https://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/453683-verdi-2-warrior/

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/17/2022 at 6:30 PM, DB said:

Anyone who has ever dealt with DE&S, and the several organisations that preceded it would have hard time pointing at a single person who could be held responsible for a programme's failings, and it would be only marginally easier to point the finger at a particular job title.

For most projects, and in no particular order, the following tend to be contributors to cost over-runs, delays and shortfalls in performance.

1. The customer neither knows not what they want, nor how to describe it (piss-poor customer requirements)

2. The customer staff responsible for a complex (and therefore, generally speaking, long) programme are rarely in role for long enough to see more than a part of it.

3. The government pay for project management roles is piss poor, and you have to live either in/near Bristol, Andover (for the Army), or near the manufacturer (for some programmes), none of which are located where people want to live.

4. The receiving military arm can't put staff onto a programme for long enough to understand how they work as most want to rotate out of the shitty MoD desk job or their careers are toast (you'll never get a good job by being a staff position on a successful project, but the MoD civilian staff can fuck your career over by failing a project that you're assigned to.). It is typical for the military staff to just understand enough about his part in the process for him to be somewhat coherent in the hand-over briefing. 

5. because the pay is rubbish at MoD, they cannot retain Suitably Qualified and Experienced personnel to properly man technical roles. They sub-contract a lot, which bloats internal costs, causes programmes to stretch as contactors either drag their heels to keep the money tap open, or move on when something more interesting comes along, taking their accumulated knowledge with them.

6. Even with contractors, project management teams are always short staffed. Even if the staff they have are competent, that simply means they're worked until they break just falling behind the curve more slowly.

7. Suppliers, even with the best intent in the world (which they often don't have), need to be managed to keep them on the rails. if you aren't pushing them to meet contractual deadlines, they won't meet them. If you don't read and add value with comments to paperwork deliverables, you'll not get what you want or need. this isn't malice, usually it's a consequence of misinterpretation (see point 1).

and on, and on.

Accurate observations in my view.  A sad state of affairs indeed.

Best,

Greg.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another 100 Boxers will be ordered.

Maybe these/a number of these will be issued to mechanized infantry units so that they can hand over their Warriors to armoured recce units or are there enough Warriors in storage to postpone this switch for now?

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/britain-to-purchase-100-extra-boxer-armoured-vehicles/

Edited by Laser Shark
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Coming from the German production line apparently.

Supposedly warrior goes away in 2025, and Ajax is due in 2030. Yet another of the MOD's spectacular capability holiday's.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Thats already being joked about on Twitter, funnily enough...

As we are going to have a capability gap, you kind of wonder why someone in the Army hasnt made a mental leap to use something like Boxer (or even FV432 god help me) as an interim recce vehicle, carrying drones. It strikes me that is a far better bet for recce use in the future. I dont the Army (particularly the RAC) have embraced the drone revolution remotely enough. It may be cost and delays will force them to.

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